Piers Morgan recalled the emotional moment he spoke with Derek Draper for the first time in two years.
Derek, who has worked as a psychotherapist and political adviser, remains seriously ill 20 months after contracting Covid-19.
The Chorley-born man, who is married to Good Morning Britain host Kate Garraway, stayed in hospital for more than a year and remains seriously incapacitated seven months after returning home.
MORE: Piers Morgan and Kate Garraway Life Stories date announced as emotional and inspiring episode teased
Piers interviewed Kate on Monday for his last episode of Life Stories before she takes over the hosting role.
One day earlier, he phoned her to check how she was feeling about it and was given the surprise chance to speak with Derek.
Writing in his newspaper column, Piers noted that Derek still requires around-the-clock nursing care, sleeps for 20 hours a day, and is rarely communicative. He has been living back home since leaving hospital last April, having become the UK’s longest-surviving Covid inpatient.
When Piers asked how he was doing, Kate replied: “He’s next to me now. Why don’t you ask him yourself?’
Piers wrote that he hadn’t seen 2019 and was shocked to be given the opportunity.
He wrote: “The last time I spoke to Derek was nearly two years ago at my Christmas pub party in December 2019. Kate had just come out of the I’m A Celebrity… jungle, where she endeared herself to the nation.
“That night Derek was bursting with pride about ‘my fabulous wife’ and excited about renewing their wedding vows. I’d never seen them happier. Then, four months later, their idyllic world of marital bliss collapsed.
“Since then I’ve spoken many times with Kate but never Derek.”
“I just assumed he wouldn’t be capable of any kind of proper conversation, given his condition.
Recalling the conversation, Piers said he cried ‘Derek’, adding ‘it’s so good to see you’.
After a short pause, a clear and strong ‘hello’ returned from Derek for the broadcaser added: “It’s great to hear your voice again. Keep battling, Derek – we’re all so proud of you!”
After another short pause, Derek responded, “thank you”.
Piers wrote: “It was a strange, thrilling experience.
“There have been many times when I feared I’d never hear Derek speak again.”
The following day, the pair shared their delight and shock of the exchange when they met before filming, before joking that Derek had been waiting for Piers Morgan to heal him all along.
Piers added: “We both roared with laughter.
“But amid the jocularity, I saw real excitement on Kate’s face.
“All that Kate and her family have now is hope, and every time Derek speaks or reacts to the world around him, that hope is inflamed once again.”
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